A bicyclist, perhaps riding with the Border Raiders tour, was killed yesterday near Hiawatha, Kansas. Earl Johnston, age 51, from Arizona, was struck by a vehicle driven by ElDeana Pearson, 23 of Falls City, Nebraska. The cyclist was hit head-on by a vehicle that crossed over into oncoming traffic on Highway 73.
Micah Bicker, who runs the Hiawatha Cyclist web site, reports that the driver swerved to miss a deer, veered into the opposite lane, and struck Mr. Johnston.
The collision is under investigation by the Brown County Sheriff’s Department. I’ll update as more information emerges…
Update 2009-06-22, 5:00pm: The Kansas City Star reports that “Johnston was struck by a motorist and killed at about 8:30 a.m. while biking alone on Highway 73”. There is speculation that he may have not been part of the tour, but have been riding to join the tour in progress.
Update 2009-06-22, 7:00pm: The Hiawatha World reports that “Johnston was part of a bicycle tour traveling through the area, but had separated from the group at some point.”